PIGGABODA: CATS, COWS AND A SUNNY FOREST

Ni alltså, ni är ju för fina. <3 Blev helt överväldigad av all fin respons på förra inlägget, är så himla pepp på att blogga nu!! Tack tack tack! 

Nu till något helt annat, nämligen ett gäng bilder från när jag firade jul i Småland! Inte så mycket jul dock, mest skog och gulliga katter.

Efter den helt otroligt stressiga hösten, var det så jäkla fint att få befinna sig här igen. Bland träd och tystnaden, att få kunna fylla lungorna med skogsluft igen. Bästa medicinen för ett stresstrött hjärta. 

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Något annat som också gör underverk för ett stresshjärta och livet i allmänhet är att få hänga med dessa tre <333 Skrattar aldrig så mycket som jag gör tillsammans med Johanna

Spenderade mesta av tiden hemma med att gosa + bli tvångsgosad av kattfamiljen. På den sista bilden försöker jag plugga (hade 12,000 ord att skriva över jul </3), men så kom Signe och bokstavligen parkerade sin lilla kropp på min mage och vägrade gå därifrån. När jag väl gav in och började klia henne, så kom Hugo och satte sig bakom mig på armstödet och gosade sönder med mitt huvud. Katter ändå. 

En morgon när frosten skimrade på marken och himlen var hysteriskt rosa. Jag matade korna med deras frukostmorötter, och Lill-kossan var först fram som vanligt. <3  

Kul kuriosa: när jag var 5 år gjorde SVT ett rikstäckande reportage om Piggaboda (byn där jag växte upp), och jag blev utfrågad av reportern vad en "egentligen gör på landet". Jag svarade, på min bredaste Småländska, "plocka morrötteeerrrr" och sedan dess kan jag inte säga/skriva/tänka ordet "morötter" utan att den sekvensen spelas upp i mitt huvud. 

Blir helt blödig av att titta på de här bilderna. SOLEN liksom. Har känt solen värma kinderna exakt 1 gång sedan jag kom tillbaka till York?! En gång på nästan två veckor?? Känns som att jag numer bor under en grå, blöt filt. 

Och en kvällspromenad i skymningen, när skogen sakta färgades blå av det försvinnande ljuset.

 

Translation:

Some frames from when I went home to Sweden over Christmas. 

2016 ➝ 2017

We walk up Regent Road following the steady stream of friends and strangers to welcome 2017 under the fireworks. We sit down on a fence and Edinburgh’s skyline spreads out before us. The air feels cold against my cheeks, but my body is filled with a warmth that is kept safe by layers of clothing and Otto’s hand in mine. 

Three two one and the sky explode with fireworks. We kiss hard, whisper Happy New Year and watch the sparkling crackling glitter rain down towards us. It is every cheesy cliché compressed into a single moment, and I've never felt happier. 

When the sky is black again and the air is heavy of smoke we walk back to the party that fills the whole building with music, and dance on a crowded living room floor. Someone jokingly shouts "I don't know if the floor will hold for this many people" and I remember thinking that falling through the floor would be a great way to start the new year. When we can't keep our eyes open any longer we walk home through the night, eat cheese sandwiches and Pringles in bed, spreading crumbs all over the crisp sheets, before falling asleep. 

✧  ✦  ✧  ✦  ✧

In 2016 I wrote a dissertation, got accepted to a MA in Women’s Studies at University of York, went to Norway to celebrate my sister’s graduation, graduated from QMU with a first, road tripped through Macedonia with a stop off in Bulgaria, cried over Brexit, spent a month in the Swedish summer sun, moved to York and started my master, cried over Trump, got a copper IUD fitted, decided to grow my hair out, and stopped eating meat.

A horrible year politically, but personally it was an amazing year in so many ways. I had so many moments of pure bliss, accomplished so much, and loved more deeply than ever before. But it was also a very, very stressful year. The first 5 months were tainted by the stress of a never ending workload, frantically typing on the keyboard, trying to finish my work on time. After a summer of some breathing space it was time to pull up my roots and plant them in a new, unknown place, start building life from scratch (again). It’s the most exhausting thing ever to relearn how to live, and the last months of 2016 felt like running a marathon on an empty stomach. 

I want 2017 to bring stability. By the look of it, it’s going to be another hectic year (i.e. write another dissertation, graduate from York, move to Sweden, apply for PhDs, and who knows what else the year will bring), but I want internal stability. A feeling of having both feet on the ground. And, of course, some political stability too (please).

The first day of 2017 was spent eating French toast for breakfast, playing chess with Otto (I got my ass kicked so badly), ordering lots of Indian food, looking at flights to warm countries, and watching The Godfather in bed. Feeling happy to the core of my being. If the saying is true, that the first day is a reflection of the rest of the year, then 2017 will be really good.

Happy New Year lovelies and thanks for reading, it really means the world to me ♡

35MM: BW FRAMES FROM MACEDONIA

Although I'm living a very nomadic life atm I've started to get itchy feet again. I need another random, beautiful adventure exploring foreign countries and unknown cities with Otto. So today I've decided to decorate the blog with some black and white 35mm magic from our travels in Macedonia. I shot the majority of this roll in Ohrid, so a lot of churches + lake views + hot boyfriend coming up:

The first frame is, however, from an evening walk in Sofia, Bulgaria. Such a beautiful and vibrant city, need to go back there someday.

Our first day in Ohrid, when a big thunderstorm rolled in over the lake. 

♡♡♡

From a day when we were sightseeing in the glaring sun, walked along the castle walls, and took refuge from the heat in chilly churches. I also climbed shit loads of steep stairs + ladders and started crying because of my fear of heights; I really hate the idea that I'm missing out because I'm scared, especially when I'm out travelling, so therefore I always force myself to continue to the highest point even if I can feel the panic rising in my throat. Luckily I really enjoy grand views, so it's all worth it in the end anyway.

That day when we spent hours and hours in a lounge chair by the lake. Occasionally cooled down in the clear water, fell asleep in the sun, and read hundreds of pages in well thumbed books.

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And some fragments of an evening when the sunset was unreal and we were people watching on the pier. 

 

 

More posts from Macedonia: 
Postcard from Skopje, Macedonia
Our first day in Ohrid: thunder, churches, and Turkish coffee
What we did in Mavrovo, Sofia, and Bitola
35mm: Macedonia

A LITTLE CHRISTMAS HELLO

35mm photos from last Christmas. 

I'm back in Småland, back with my family and all the animals. I start the morning by feeding the cows some carrots and scratching the bull Wayne behind the ears. My eyes are itchy and runny because I can't keep away from their cats and their soft soft soft fur even though I'm allergic. And, as always, the compact silence takes me by surprise. Yesterday, I decorated the tree (that I chopped down and carried home through the forest on Thursday) with red and gold, wrapped the last presents, made flower decorations with pine tree branches that I found on the ground during our morning walk, and rolled over 60 vegetarian meatballs. And we probably broke some kind of record by having everything ready before 7pm yesterday (being part of my family is like stepping into the real life version of Sällskapsresan - everything that can go wrong, will go wrong ♡), and we spent the rest of the evening in the sofa, watching the Christmas Special of På Spåret, eating chocolate and dried figs. 

Anyway, hope you have a great, relaxing Christmas filled with love and food - and if you're really lucky, some snow too. Merry Christmas and God Jul! ♡

WINTER WONDERLAND

Last weekend Uppsala turned into a winter wonderland; my first proper snow in 5 years and I was euphoric. We had snowball fights (or, Otto had an ongoing snowball fight with me, while I was some kind of walking target), and tumbled about in the snow like little kids. I love snow, and I love it even more when I get to experience it with my favourite person. <3

Otherwise I'm having the best of times. We're watching films (right now we're watching Swedish films, so let me know if you have any suggestions) and doing Christmassy things (like celebrating Lucia and drinking glögg). I've lost count of how many saffron buns I've had, and although I have a mountain of work to get through, I feel more relaxed than I've done in months. 

WINTERY YORK AND PANCAKES

Hello, long time no see. I've been so freaking busy lately that there's been no time left for my little internet corner. I have 6 assignments that are due on the 16th of January, but since I want to be able to relax during Christmas (and also because I'm a chronic overachiever who don't know when or how to stop, heh) I'm trying to get the majority of the work done before. So far I've managed to finish my quantitative methods report, 1/4 of my qualitative methods assignments, and 1/2 of my essay on feminist theory. Phew.

Apart from studying I've also hung out with Fatou who came over from Leeds on Monday <333 We had the nicest day (as seen in the photos). The air was wintery cold and we walked around the whole of York, ate pancakes with goat cheese, drank coffee, and just caught up on life. I miss living with her so much. I've also had dinner with Nastia and Josie at a vegan restaurant (I had the most amazing corn fritters, I'm still dreaming about them), we sat there for ages and talked about feminism and academia until the restaurant closed and we had to leave. I have the best friends. And tomorrow I'm flying to Sweden for Christmas!! I'll be spending 10 days in Uppsala with Otto, then I'm going to Borås to visit Nastasja, and lastly down to Småland to celebrate Christmas with my family. I'm so excited. 

 

p.s. min talangfulla, fantastiska syster har skaffat en ny blogg!!! Äntligen. Ni hittar den här

TORRENTIAL RAIN AND A FEMINIST CAKE

Let's have a look at what's happened lately:

▸ I've been wearing all black (almost) every day for two weeks now. It's just so comforting in a way? Plus, I feel more coherent, not just outfit wise, but mentally too? 

▸ I've been studying. A lot. Right now I'm working on the assessments that are due 16 January, as well as trying to keep up on in class course work = shit loads of work to do. But I'm enjoying it (okay, maybe not the quants, but oh well), so it doesn't matter.

For anyone who wants to know what the British weather is like in November. 🙃

Ett filmklipp publicerat av Jennifer Stroud ♀ (@jennif.stroud)

▸ I got soaked in the rain from hell that enfolded the city last Monday. I walked the 15 minutes to Morrisons to buy food, and when I got home my coat was literally DRIPPING of water.

▸ the notorious flood surprised me on Wednesday morning when I wanted to go for a run along the river. Hopefully this winter won't be as bad as the last one... 

▸ my skin has started breaking out in rashes again :(( My eczema always gets so much worse in the winter, and I guess the uni workload + stress isn't helping.

▸ I've attended a conference that CWS organised in celebration of Stevi Jackson's amazing work. They had invited so many cool speakers, and I got a little starstruck (forever fangirling academics). Afterwards THIS CAKE HAPPENED. Most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

▸ I've procrastinated a lot by hanging out in the CWS common room, eating leftover cake, chatting about important things (e.g. epistemology, and dogs with short legs), and not felt bad about the work I'm not doing - which makes me kind of proud, since I'm the worst for beating myself up when I'm not working "hard enough" (like, what does that even mean?).

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▸ the sky has gone through the whole spectrum of colours every night as the sun sets. I find the view from my kitchen window very dystopian, in a good way. 

▸ I've been catching up on Planet Earth II, all wrapped up in my feather duvet and sipping on glögg. 

▸ I've spent several hours browsing second hand bookshops, and came home with these little treasures for only £6! 

▸ and on Saturday I went to a Christmas/Birthday/Housewarming party that Josie, a girl in my class, threw. We ate saffron buns (!!) and crisps with edible glitter, admired their pretty Christmas tree, talked about feminism and planned the revolution. <3 

THE EDINBURGH ESCAPE

Last week was very weird. With anxiety pounding against my ribcage, panic flushing under my skin, a muddled mind, and a slowness that screams of sadness. Luckily, Otto was in Edinburgh to cover for his mum's café + shop last week. So last Friday I jumped on the CrossCountry train to hang out with my favourite person, and escape adulting and all the responsibilities that it entails, if only for a few days.

Hottest barista I’ve ever seen. And turns out he makes a smashing flat white!

And look look look how NICE the café in Nordic Affär is!! I left for Sweden before it was finished and I was blown away when I stepped into the shop, it's so pretty. If you're in Edinburgh and fancy some (proper, strong) Swedish coffee and home baked cinnamon buns, you know where to go. 

It was so, so surreal to be back in Edinburgh. In many ways it felt like coming home, but at the same time, it became so clear that I’m not part of the city anymore. So many things had changed, so many things felt new and unfamiliar. At first it made me sad(der), but then I realised that it only means that I'm still moving forward, that I'm not stuck, and, right now, that's something that I really value. 

Otto held me hard while I cried, and Edinburgh gave me much needed space to catch my breath again. After 4 days together, studying side by side, drinking cup after cup of coffee, ordering half the menu from the indian around the corner, walking hand in hand down familiar streets, I was more than ready to take on life again. Oh, and I got to see the Goldfinch at the Scottish National Gallery, just a couple of weeks after I finished the book! It's only on display for 1,5 month?! Such a lucky coincidence.

Since I’ve been back in York I’ve had a copper IUD fitted, which left me feeling very fragile for a few hours. I've attended a “Life after Women’s Studies”-conference that CWS put on with so many inspiring speakers, among others a couple of academics who I've fangirled for years now - and now I'm even more excited for the future. And yesterday I had a full on study day (from 8.30 to 17.00) with SPSS and multiple regression. I'm back on my feet again, ready to punch the sun.

GRIEF AND POLITICS//HOW TRUMP MAKES ME FEEL

I woke up at 3.30am and horrified at the news notifications on my iPhone screen, I was suddenly wide awake. For the rest of the night I was staring at The Guardian's graphic over the US election and hoping, begging, that it was a joke. That Hillary would catch up, and that Trump wouldn't be elected the president of USA. But he was. He is. The American people elected a racist, homophobic, misogynistic asshole who doesn't believe in climate change, for president. 

The hopelessness that I feel, that was blurted out in the early morning texts from my close ones, that fills social media, and that tint the news today, is agonising - the mere thought of Trump's victory speech makes my stomach turn. But I also find the hopelessness very reassuring. Reassuring that so many are experiencing the same revolting grief as I am about the right-wing (Brexit, UKIP, Trump, etc.), racist, sexist, horrible world we live in. A grief, an anger, that I believe can fuel political mobilisation, make change happen. Let's turn to the words of Judith Butler (<3), and her essay Violence, Mourning, Politics

Many people think that grief is privatizing, that it returns us to a solitary situation and is, in that sense, depoliticizing. But I think it furnishes a sense of political community of a complex order, and it does this first of all by bringing to the fore the relational ties that have implications for theorizing fundamental dependency and ethical responsibility. If my fate is not originally or finally separable from yours, then the “we” is traversed by a relationality that we cannot easily argue against; or, rather, we can argue against it, but we would be denying something fundamental about the social conditions of our very formation.
To grieve, and to make grief itself into a resource for politics, is not to be resigned to inaction, but it may be understood as the slow process by which we develop a point of identification with suffering itself. The disorientation of grief-“Who have I become?” or, indeed, “What is left of me?” “What is it in the Other that I have lost?”- posits the “I” in the mode of unknowingness. But this can be a point of departure for a new understanding if the narcissistic preoccupation of melancholia can be moved into a consideration of the vulnerability of others. Then we might critically evaluate and oppose the conditions under which certain human lives are more vulnerable than others, and thus certain human lives are more grievable than others. From where might a principle emerge by which we vow to protect others from the kinds of violence we have suffered, if not from an apprehension of a common human vulnerability?

So grieve, be angry, and feel hopeless - closely, collectively, unitedly. Give yourself some breathing space, time to find strength (I'm planning on retreating to the warm, safe space of CWS and rant about how horrible the world is) and tomorrow we'll start again, to analyse, mobilise, and politicise. And remember that this is how the millennials voted: 

Change will come.